USD 67 Million Loans for New Heir Returns Program



USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new program for granting heirs ownership at a press conference on July 29, 2021. Screenshot from the press conference

The USDA is providing $ 67 million in competitive loans as part of a new heir ownership redistribution program that will help farmers and landowners address heir tenure and inheritance issues.

Intermediary lenders – cooperatives, credit unions and non-profit organizations – can apply for loans of up to $ 5 million at 1% interest after the Agricultural Services Agency opens a two-month registration window at the end of August.

Once lenders are selected by the Farm Services Agency, heirs can apply directly to these lenders for loans and assistance. Heir ownership issues have long been a barrier to many producers and landowners from accessing USDA programs and services, and this recovery program provides access to capital to help growers find solutions to these problems.

Estate of heirs is a legal term that refers to family land inherited without a will or legal title deeds. Historically, heirs have found it difficult to benefit from USDA programs due to the belief that they cannot obtain a farm number without proof of ownership or control of the land.

However, the Farm Service Agency offers alternatives that allow the heir to obtain a farm number. In states that have passed the UPHPA, growers can provide special documents to obtain a farm number. To learn more about Heir Ownership, the Heir Ownership Redistribution Program (HPRP) or UPHPA, click here


“Although the victims live in all geographic and cultural areas, many black farmers and other groups who have experienced historical discrimination have inherited the property of the heirs,” Agriculture Minister Tom Vilsack told a news conference today. “The USDA is committed to rethinking policies to make them more equitable, and examining the barriers that heir property owners face is part of that effort. This helps ensure that the heritage of these family farms is protected for future generations. ”


According to a USDA press release, the heir property redistribution program is another example of how the USDA is working to rebuild trust with American farmers and ranchers.

The HPRP is a loan that will need to be repaid under the Agriculture Act 2018. The benefits of the program go far beyond the scope of its participants. It will also preserve farmland for farming, protect the legacy of family farming, and support economic viability.

Eligible Lenders:


To be eligible, intermediary lenders must be certified as a community development financial institution and have experience and capabilities in providing and servicing similar agricultural and commercial loans.

If the number of applications exceeds the amount of funds available, those candidates who have at least 10 years of experience working with socially disadvantaged farmers who are located in states that have passed the law consisting of the enactment or enactment of the Uniform Division of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) will receive the first preference …

A list of these states is available on the website.

A secondary preference level is set for those who already have claims from final recipients, or for those who have a history of successful dispensing of previous HPRP funds. When multiple candidates are at the same level or there are no candidates at level 1 or 2, applications will be funded in order of the date the application was received.

The Funding Application Webinar will take place on Tuesday 3 August 2021. The interested lender must register via FSA Outreach and Education Web Page

Transfer to heirs:

Heirs can use loans to resolve ownership issues by financing a purchase or consolidating property rights and financial costs associated with the inheritance plan. This may also include the costs and fees associated with buying out other heirs’ shares in a joint property to clear ownership, as well as closing costs, appraisals, title searches, surveys, document preparation, mediation, and legal services.

Press conference on July 29, 2021, on the new heir estate transfer program through the USDA.

Heirs may not use loans to improve land, develop, acquire or renovate buildings, acquire personal property, pay operating costs, pay royalties or similar expenses.
Intermediary lenders will provide loans to heirs who:

  • Whether individuals or legal entities are competent to take on debt and resolve issues of ownership and succession of a farm owned by multiple owners.
  • Whether a family member or legal heir by blood or marriage to the previous owner of the property
  • Agree to complete a succession plan

More information on how heirs can borrow from lenders under the HPRP will be available in the coming months.


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